How Myrtle Fillmore Was Healed
Last September I sent out an email inviting people to join me in a class that would, I said, “Turn Your Life (and your Church) Outward.” Please click on the image above or here to watch the promotional video for the class. I promise you it’s worth 90 seconds of your time.
Take note that the difference between “being inward” and “being outward” depends on whether we see others as people or as objects. And note further that there are three ways we see people as objects: seeing them as opportunties to use for getting our way, seeing them as problems who prevent us from getting what we want or disregarding them as irrelevant to our private world.
I did not know back in September that we would be entering into our present disagreement about identity. But I was certain that the class had the potential to transform our Unity culture in ways that are vividly portrayed in the video. It certainly changed me. And, now that nine Unity ministers, two Licensed Teachers and two lay persons have finished our course, I am more confident than ever about our ability to overcome divisions.
I don’t know anyone in Unity who wants Unity to identify as Christian more than me. I have devoted nearly 15 years to providing a gateway so that people in churches find and explore the teachings of Myrtle and Charles Fillmore. Regardless of how Unity branding may affect your ministry, Unity’s explicit rejection of Christian identity didn’t help my ministry at all.
I asked to be ordained three years ago. I didn’t ask to be ordained because I agreed with what Unity was teaching. Nor did I ask to be ordained to teach all sorts of non-Fillmore materials that others were teaching. I asked to be ordained so I could help Unity ministries be more attractive to people in churches. So I threw myself into getting the Fillmore Study Bible out, I spent $40,000 getting them printed and I have chosen to make Unity ministries the primary distribution channel.
But it makes no sense to see UWM board members as opportunities for me to get my way. It makes no sense to see Unity universalists as problems who prevent me from being a better metaphysical Christian. And it makes no sense to be in a community where I see large groups of others as irrelevant. If I see others as objects then I have lost any authentic claim that Fillmore teachings have something to teach people in churches.
Further, I have learned that the Unity movement itself is not an opportunity, nor is it a problem or irrelevant. The course taught me that Unity is not a marketplace to sell books, to provide an income or to promote a non-Fillmore teaching. Nor is it a place for me to throw rocks at people with whom I disagree. If I see Unity as an object then I can no longer claim, as I have claimed, that Unity is a Sacred Canopy.
So I’m stuck. So are you.
Here is my point. The task before us in Unity is setting aside our judgments long enough for us to be able to see the humanity in each other. Our problem isn’t Christianity. Our problem is judgment. It is as simple as that.
Most people think Myrtle Fillmore was healed of tuberculosis. I don’t see it that way. What really healed Myrtle Fillmore was her release of judgment impressed upon her from excessively negative 19th century evangelicalism. Once EB Weeks convinced her that she did not inherit that sickness—judgment—Myrtle Fillmore experienced healing.
All of us should do the same.
Here is a Forgiveness Prayer from Brenda Takahashi, one of the two lay people in the class we have just concluded:
Forgiveness Prayer 1
God Almighty creator of the Universe, I come to You seeking harmony, holding no one in bondage to a duty or desiring penalty for their errors.
Whatever the error, it resides in the past, and I live forever in the now.
I want no revenge or vengeance.
I seek to conduct myself as a channel of Divine Love, Life and Light.
Harmlessness is now the keynote of my life:
—Harmlessness in thought and speech.
—Harmlessness in emotional reaction.
—Harmlessness in actions.
Let the thoughts I broadcast to the world help, heal, and hasten spiritual harmony.
I forgive everyone who has ever trespassed against me.
I free all those for whom my selfhood declares they owe me debts of duty and love.
I release everyone: my parents, spouse, children, relatives, friends, colleagues, and society.
Going forward, no one owes me anything; my relationships are non-binding commitments for Thy greatest good.
What others give out of love and purpose, I cheerfully receive, without mandates of obligation.
God Almighty! I forgive myself as you have already done. — Amen
Thank you, Brenda.
Wednesday, January 24, 2024
- 10.28.2023 | Bren Takahashi
Turn Your Life (and your Church) Outward
The class I am about to introduce changed my life, my marriage and my ministry. I learned of the class by hearing about the United Methodist church engaging Arbinger to help with their internal conflicts regarding homosexuality. It took me a year to comprehend and process what I learned after taking the class in 2019 at the Arbinger training facility in Tyson’s Corner Virginia. Please click here to watch the promotional video for the class.
After taking the class, I found it much more difficult to blow off people as I have done through much of my life. Not much later, Marika, my wife of 40+ years, said to me “Something’s changed ... what is it?”. And when covid hit I began to see Unity churches, their ministers and our two national Unity organizations in a whole new way. I felt a deep desire let go of my incessant criticism of things in Unity and to simply be helpful to those who serve.
Until now, Arbinger training was available primarily to corporate leaders who need to change corporate culture and as “train the trainer” classes for rolling out internal programs within their organizations. Post-covid, Arbinger has shifted their offerings so that some of their content is now available as public classes, facilitated by people (like me) who want to take it to other, non-corporate places, such as churches.
So I am offering the Arbinger Outward Performance class, described by Arbinger as “a ten module, facilitated video-driven course to reimagine your individual and team interactions through the use of real-life video testimonials, facilitated discussions and a series of practical tools.” Participants receive their own login at the Arbinger Institute Portal so they can revisit what they learn and keep up with new Arbinger content.
Our class is given in five sessions, two hours each session, starting September 11 and running every other week until November 20, which is Monday of Thanksgiving week in the US. Because it’s a new class, for me as much as it will be for those who sign up, this class is limited to ten persons. Because of generous donors to TruthUnity, this class is free to all ten participants.
If you want to be in the class, I need an email from you by Tuesday morning, September 5. I will have an info session about the class by Zoom tomorrow, September 4, at 12 noon Eastern time. In your email or during the info session I’ll need a firm commitment to attend all five sessions for the entire two hours and a sincere desire to learn and apply the material. If more than 10 people want the class, I ask for your trust and understanding that some may need to wait until our next offering in 2024.
I have always considered TruthUnity as a sort of baseball “farm team”—a place to try out promising ideas and have fun along the way. That is how I see this workshop. So this class is an experiment. Many people aren’t aware that much of my work is experimental—the hyperlinked Metaphysical Dictionary, the launch of Unity Georgetown, the Fillmore Study Bible, the Unity Events page, Koinonia, the Resource Box and TruthUnity.net itself began as experiments. Many others, best left unnamed, did not pan out.
I will repeat this class next year, perhaps on a regular basis. I will also offer the Arbinger class on Outward Inclusion. Participants in both classes will be welcome to join in to later classes to refresh and deepen their understanding of the outward mindset. My sense is that this little class of 10 may help us see new ways do ministry. You don't need to be ordained or lead any ministry to participate. You just need to see your life as a ministry.
If our experiment works, then know that Arbinger is open to those of you who also wish to become facilitators in raising consciousness, which Arbinger calls “mindset”. And Arbinger also offers Outward Leadership, which helped the United Methodists through their most difficult divisions. Arbinger likes churches and nonprofits. Their heart is in the right place.
Sunday, September 3, 2023